Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Stubborn Umbilical Cord And A Bennett Update

First, I wanted to say we had a nice time this past weekend with Grandma and Grandpa! It was a short visit, they live 10 hours away so we don't get to see them as much as we'd like but Mike is working on getting us closer to everyone again so hopefully it won't be like this for long! We didn't get a lot of pics either:( But Grandma thoroughly "spoiled" Bennett and held him almost the whole time which I'm sure was fine with him and me:)

So Bennett's umbilical cord has still not fallen off. Is that strange? He will be four weeks on Friday, seems strange to me and I felt like I couldn't wait any longer to put him on his tummy to work on his neck muscles. He's doing good with it and out of the three, he's by far been the most content on his belly. The girls hated it and could barely tolerate the 10 minute tummy-time that I had them do everyday when they were infants. So hopefully Bennett's umbilical cord will come off soon, seriously, why is it still hanging on?? Here he is doing some tummy-time...

Friday is Bennett's first evaluation by Early Intervention. Originally when we met with the case manager she mentioned if Bennett didn't qualify when they evaluated him the first time, (meaning, he would be doing what a typical 4 week old does, whatever that is) that they would put him on a tracking system. I thought to myself "what?" "Didn't qualify, he has Down syndrome though, why wouldn't he qualify?" I later read in the book that she gave us, that children with Down syndrome automatically qualify so I'm not sure what she was talking about but all I know is that the people doing his evaluation are not leaving our house without setting up some kind of therapy. I'm sure it was just a mistake on her part so hopefully we won't have any issues regarding this.

Other than his umbilical cord not wanting to detach, Bennett is doing good! He is gaining weight and is now over 8 lbs, finally! We are struggling a little with nursing though and going back and forth between that and bottles. We may need a feeding therapist to watch him, he chokes some and milk comes out the sides of his mouth. He also just doesn't get enough when he nurses and I know he's working twice as hard to not get as much so I'm not sure what to do. The pump and I are no strangers though, I have had to pump with all my kids, I was just hoping Bennett could be different in that aspect since he did so well the first week but I'm afraid not. I've also started him on "The Baby Whisperer" schedule which I lived by with my girls when they were babies and it worked very well. If you can't tell, I'm a tad bit type A and having my kids on schedules makes me very happy! So far he's following it very nicely and still sleeping through the night! I know, you probably think I'm crazy trying to put a 4 week old on a schedule but it really has worked with my kids and makes our lives so much less stressful!

Anyways, Ainsley will be taking a little over night trip to some fun places on Friday with Grammy, Granddaddy and some other friends, Saturday is Relay for Life with my Mom's group and Sunday is Father's Day so it will be a busy weekend for all of us. Next week is packed with doctor appointments and Mike is back to work, so me and the kids will be going to all of these appointments together, sounds fun, huh? We'll see how that goes...


  1. Adrienne, I am all for starting a schedule early. I am not familiar with the "Baby Whisperer" but I did the "Baby Wise" schedule and it worked wonderfully. My kids all slept through the night by 8 to 10 weeks. Actually Ella never really needed a schedule, she just did it herself. But I would get some slack from people who wanted me to feed on demand during the day and I stuck to the every three hours no matter what. I swear they weren't as hungry at night and therefore slept. Keep up the good work.

  2. Bennett is such a cutie!! Joel was the same with tummy time - He didn't seem to mind it. Caleb hated it.

    I'll say a prayer for you next week as you manage 3 kids by yourself. I remember dreading the day Keith went back to work after Joel was born. The first week was the hardest but than it seemed to get better - or else I got use to it!

  3. Glad Bennett is doing so well! He is so handsome! Lily's umbilical cord did not fall off until she was 6 weeks old! I asked the doctor every time we saw him and he said it was as clean as a whistle and would fall off when it was ready. And it did! I'll be thinking about you next week while you have the kids all by yourself. You will do great, I'm sure!

  4. I am thrilled to hear that B is doing so wonderful. I think the umbilibal cord is the worst part of infantcy, lol (eww!) I am glad that you are still trying to nurse, I know it is difficult but even if you supplement it is so good for him....William had a hard time but I was determined to do it even though he needed supplements and then I had to stop when he started biting me every time I nursed him at 10 mos. OUCH!!!!! Hope your week goes great

  5. I'm a mom to 4 kids. They're all grown up already. **sigh** When my kids still had their umbilical cords I used rubbing alchol and a cotton swab to wipe it regularly and it dried it out. Is Bennetts cord and moist and mushy? This might help. Check with your Dr first though...that's my mini disclaimer **grin**

  6. Hey Adrienne.....

    You know, people thought I was nuts when I scheduled everything around JEB's schedule, BUT it's comforting to him really. Kids with Ds crave that routine.....even napping, therapy and such. They know. JEB was crazy that first week after school was out and he goes nuts on Christmas break. He knows what he does at certain times of the day and when he doesn't, it makes him nuts!!!

    I had the same trouble narretto had with nursing.....JEB did great, even though I had to use the football hold all the time with a pillow under him. He also started biting and pulling at 9 months and made me bleed even though he had no teeth!!! BUT we figured out I wasn't producing enough and he was trying to get more to eat! After I switched him to a bottle and formula, he ate like a champ and gained weight fairly steadily afterwards.

    I'll be praying for you next week and I'm anxious to hear what Early intervention says.

    And he's soooooooo adorable!!! I could eat him up!!!

  7. Way to go Bennett!, you are sooo cute :)

    That's right! don't let the people doing the evaluation on Friday leave your home w/out setting up his therapies. Because of Bennett's Ds diagnosis, he DEFINETELY qualifies for ALL the therapies he NEEDS...

  8. Bennett is doing great on tummy time!

    Because Mattie also has ds, she automatically qualifies for services. That being said, the therapist comes to our house and evaluates her to see how she is doing. They are pleased with her progress. They always give me some suggestions on meeting the goals we've set. I've really not pushed therapy too much since she has been doing well and we are working with her. I would really like to see her getting therapy in the near future so I guess it's time to meet with EI again. We have a coordinator and we can call her anytime(that is probably like your case manager). She sets up meetings or gets us any "tools" we may want to use.....for example like the bumbo seat.
    I hope everything goes well on Friday!

  9. How cute is your whole family, Adrienne? I look forward to your blogs and enjoy reading about Bennett and your girls. You are so lucky to have three sweet children. I have no advice on the umbilical cord! I'll be watching your blog for the answer though! Jennifer Underwood

  10. Sounds like you are doing a fabulous job! My advice is to keep feeding him, even if you have to top him up with a bottle every now and then. If he gets sick or whatever, breast milk is the best for him, and he will tolerate it much better than anything else. Luke has just had a nasty stomach bug, and my milk was the only thing he could keep down for several days (he is down to only 1 feed a day normally).

    My kids splutter at the beginning of a feed, so if you think you have a lot of milk when the let-down starts, you can get a warm flannel to catch it or express off the first little bit and give it to him later.

    Good luck. He is TOTALLY gorgeous!

  11. What a darling baby boy! Now that you mention it, I think John Michael's cord took a longer time than usual to fall off, too. Also, he nursed but the milk would spill out the sides of his mouth as well. It's probably due to lower tone and getting proper closure around the lips. As JM got a little older, he did very well and nursed until he was 11 months old when he started biting me. Keep doing what you're doing. He looks great!

  12. Wow, I can't believe how he is pulling his head up from the on-the-tummy position. If you give a little stim to his upper back/neck muscles (just a jiggle) it will help those muscles wake up and pull that head up.

    I am wondering now if the lazy umb cord is a ds thing... My daughter's took about 6 weeks and the hospital staff thought that was really weird.

    The Baby Whisperer... I loved that book.

  13. Here is a website with tons of info and resources for breastfeeding babies with Down syndrome

    Landon didn't really want much to do with me, much as I tried, so we were stuck with the bottle. We did have to try several to find the nipple he could drink out of with out dribbling, choking or drinking so slowly he was burning more calories than consuming. For him, it worked out to be the Avent bottle. But once we got that straight, he started gaining.

    Good luck with everything!

  14. Hi Adrienne, I read your blog regularly (and am also on the babycenter community). Bennett is adorable - my daughter Anya (also has DS) is 7.5 months old. Her umbilical cord fell off when she was 5 weeks old!

  15. OMG~ Ethan's umbilical cord didn't come off until we had it "burnt" off around 7 weeks! I thought that thing was going to be a part of him forever!

  16. I am a member of baby center and also follow your blog. Bennett is absolutely adorable and he is very blessed to have you as his mother. He is very good at tummy time. My daughter didn't roll over until she was 7 or 8 months old because she hated to be on her Bennett is doing GREAT!

  17. I love schedules! Like Denise, I do Babywise with my kids and it has worked out well.

    Benjamin's cord fell off at about 2 1/2 weeks, but Andrew's was more like 5 or 6 weeks. Ugh!!


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